November 2009. An emaciated young lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, is led to a freezing isolation cell in a Moscow prison, handcuffed to a bed rail, and beaten to death by eight police officers. His crime? To testify against the Russian Interior Ministry officials who were involved in a conspiracy to steal $230 million of taxes paid to the state by one of the world's most successful hedge funds. Magnitsky's brutal killing has remained uninvestigated and unpunished to this day. His farcical posthumous show-trial brought Putin's regime to a new low in the eyes of the international community.
Red Notice is a searing expose of the wholesale whitewash by Russian authorities of Magnitsky's imprisonment and murder, slicing deep into the shadowy heart of the Kremlin to uncover its sordid truths. Bill Browder - the hedge fund manager who employed Magnitsky - takes us on his explosive journey from the heady world of finance in New York and London in the 1990s, through his battles with ruthless oligarchs in the turbulent landscape of post-Soviet Union Moscow, to his expulsion from Russia on Putin's orders. Browder's graphic portrait of the Russian government as a criminal enterprise wielding all the power of a sovereign state illuminates his personal transformation from financier to human rights activist, campaigning for justice for his late lawyer and friend.
With fraud, bribery, corruption, and torture exposed at every turn, Red Notice is a shocking but true political roller-coaster that plays out in the highest echelons of Western power.
©2015 Hermitage Media Limited (P)2015 Recorded Books
I average an audio book per week but stayed up all night listening to this wonderful true story (I'm very glad it was a Friday night!). This story is an absolute must to anyone interested in great story telling, finance and the intrigue/corruption of the Russian government. The ending of the book is especially powerful and truly shows why human rights must come before money.
In my case, I was fascinated by the honest reporting of an attempt by an American citizen to undertake a mission of change with our own Washington bureaucracy, and surprisingly, how well some of our politician’s did in addressing a serious human rights violation.
Even more so, this book explains in clear prose the importance of doing what is right regardless of personal cost. There is a profound human rights example, which this book will bring to light, showing why sanctions and in some case, extreme measures must be taken against some governments to protect their citizen's rights.
Great Narration with excellent foreign dialog characterizations - very immersive.
Strong emotional components told with an honesty you don't find in many stories.
Browder paints a portrait of modern Russia through his own very personal story.
The first half of his book is interesting but drags ever so slightly. It recounts Browder's rise, at Solomon Brother and then as a fund manager focusing on the country in the aftermath of the fall of the USSR. It describes his dealing with the Oligarchs of that era, and ascension to become as the country's largest foreign portfolio investor by the late 1990s/early 2000s.
In its second half, the book pivots from international business biography to political and criminal intrigue. Here, in riveting terms, Browder recounts how in the late 2000s a cabal of shadowy apparatchiks from the Russian FSB and interior ministry, acting with the backing up the State, stole hundreds of millions by falsifying tax refunds fraudulently procured on behalf of one of his companies. It explains the methods employed and names to people responsible, and describes how he was blamed, intimidated, exiled him from the country, and ultimately shows how and why one of his attorneys, Sergei Magnitsky, was murdered. By the end of the book, it is 2015 and Browder is living in Britain in very real fear for his life.
Taken at face value, Browder's story affirms the very worst fears about what the Russian state has become two decades after the collapse of communism. Taken at face value, in my opinion, Mr. Browder has every reason to be fearful for his life.
The best thing about the book is that Mr. Browder does not flinch in telling his story. He does not pull any punches. By directly addressing the Putin regime - by naming names, connecting the dots, detailing the tactics employed by the Russian state to obfuscate the truth and discredit its opponents, and showing the astonishing and cynical depth of the regime's contempt for the rule of law and international norms - Mr. Browder places himself alongside the likes of a very small group of gutsy writers (Anna Politkovskaya comes to mind) who have sought to pull back the curtain on the ugly truth of the New Russia.
The main reason I give the book 4-stars instead of 5-stars is that it is (through no fault of the author's) highly specific and personal, focused almost entirely around Mr. Browder and his experiences in Russia. It does not offer many new, concrete insights beyond those that Browder experienced personally. The result is many of the most intriguing and seemingly consequential mysteries from the New Russia - the 1999 Moscow apartment bombings; the 2003 jailing of Mikhail Khodorkovsky; the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko and the assasination of journalist Anna Politivsaya - are dealt with superficially if at all.
Nonetheless, Mr. Browder's story is by itself sufficiently remarkable to render this book a valuable contribution to the (conspicuously small) body of literature offering real insight into the modern Russian kleptocracy. Kudos to him for having the courage to tell his story, and the story of Sergei Magnitsky. Well worth the credit.
This true story will keep emotions up and down. Every time you hear a glimpse of hope and a good news only to have your hopes dashed by a Russian oligarch. This book is amazingly well written and speaks true of Russia then and now. Bill Browder is a true champion for justice. What he accomplished for Sergei Magnitsky's family and justice loving people around the globe is by far nothing short of miracle. To Sergei Magnitsky's family, your son, father and husband did not die in vain thanks to Sergei himself and his friend Bill Browder. To Sergei, may you rest in peace.
This book met way above my expectation.
The narrator is very good and I love the Russian accent.
First of all - they were so smart to choose this reader. He is very perfect for this book. The story is completely hair raising in every particular. There is much we never hear about and I consider myself a true news junky. I encourage everyone to listen to this book all the way to the end and consider yourself a chink in the wall against Russian corruption. It sheds a whole new light on the situation in the Ukraine when you apply the same evil Putin/Russian logic to that disaster!
This book completed exceeded my expectation. The detail in which the author describes Sergei's story moved me to tears many times. His story deserves to be told by this book to everyone who has conscience. Thank you for sharing your story with me. I have learned a lot about human rights in Russia, and the system that is so corrupt criminals can roam free without consequences. A true 5 star.
I wasn't expecting all that much from this book but I'm reading whatever I can find about Putin's Russia so I bought this.
I was blown away.
I think I was like most Americans since 9/11, I had put Russia on the back burner of my mind. Putin seemed weird but not any weirder than any of the Cold War leaders. After reading this book, and Flashpoints by George Friedman, I'm paying more attention to Russia, as, it seems, we all should.
The sociopathic Russian regime of Vladimir Putin should make us afraid. Very afraid.... and I'm not sure the current crop of Presidential candidates, from the right or the left, are ready to deal with what lies ahead. Let's hope our leaders are vigilant.
This book read like a great spy novel- except all of it is a true story and not fiction (as others have pointed out in their reviews). The story was riveting and I thought that Adam Grupper did an incredible job with the narration- especially with his English, French and Russian accent for all of the characters. Well worth the listen. I really believe that this should be made into a motion picture and hopefully some producer will purchase the rights to the book and proceed with the project. I would recommend that as you listen to the book think of who should be cast in the various roles in the story.
Excellent narrator, moving story, so well written. A remarkable book that is not one to miss. Thank you. Highly recommend.
Family father, neuroscientist, and non-fiction addict.
This is the story about the investment banker Bill Browder whose grandfather was a famous communist in the United States. Bill decided that he wanted to become the most famous capitalist in Russia. He succeeded. We get to follow Bill from his childhood until the time when the book was written. In contrast to many other self biographies, this one rarely got boring.
Throughout the book I asked myself: Why does an investment banker, for whom a hundred million dollars is no big deal, write a book? The answer it turns out, at least in part, is that he, til this day, fears for his life. Browder must have assumed that Russia and Mr. Putin cares about justice and that the judicial system in Russia would protect him when he was wronged. A naive assumption it turned out. The book takes a radical turn when Bill, because he puts up a fight, has to escape from Russia. Several of his associates fares very badly and one even dies. Since then Browder has devoted himself to getting justice for his associates and he has been at least partly successful.
This is a nonfiction book that has it all. It is biographical. It uncovers the lifestyle of the world’s elite and how investment bankers make and spend money, as well as how they work with and against the world’s political leaders. It is also a crime novel, describing in detail a serious crime and the following detective work. The multifaceted nature of the book is both its strength and its weakness. It rarely gets boring but it can also lack focus.
"Fantastic and scary true story!"
I really enjoyed this book! Well written and the fact that it was based on true events experienced by the author made it so much more real. What a scary world we live in...
"Scary but fantastic"
A very interesting listen great to see the rise and fall and what it's like doing business in such a place.
Bill explains his whole story very well right from the start and keeps you wanting to hear more
All the pace and tone is faultless and there are no further comments to make 15
"A well narrated compelling and sad story"
Such a sad story, but very well told.
I became aware of this book as a result of listening to a radio interview with the author. The author described such a shocking, incredulous and sad sequence of events that I felt that I had to read it, because surely this must be a work of fiction.
It isn't a work of fiction.
It's a story that needs to be told.
Thank you for telling it.
Excellent book which tells of Bill Browder's rise as a hedge fund manager in Russia followed by his exposure of corruption and fight for justice.
I really enjoyed this personal story.
"Corruption Laid Bare"
I don't normally do non-fiction. But I am glad I listened to this. Bill Browder's account of his rise to business success is very compelling stuff in its own right. In the second half of the book, Browder's account of the forces of corruption lining up against him (aka the Russian government) and his carefully plotted survival strategy is really engrossing. It was one of those listens where you try to find yourself working out how quickly you can pick it up again. It runs out of steam a bit towards the end. But you are left totally surprised and horrified at the dark forces behind the daily headlines about life in Russia.Like the recent murder of Boris Nemtsov, it is difficult to imagine such things happening in the west. I am very glad I read this!
"Thrilling, brilliant, depressing"
Yes, so may different threads running through the book that I'm sure I'll want to make sure I didn't miss anything!
Yes - probably the quickest I've gone through an audio book
I knew about Browder through the coverage of the Magnitsky act and through a general interest in Russia post-privatisations. This book was so utterly fascinating. Up there with Freeland, Hoffman, Satter etc
"My first book via this app."
I'd heard about this book on LBC radio. Knew I needed to read it. Whilst I struggled a bit with the narration, the same man reading male, female, American, Russian accents. I found this a wonderful and frightening listen. I'll need to do more of this.
Brilliant and sad story.
You will struggle to stop listening to it!
And you shouldn't. Everyone who wonders about Russian actions will understand them better.
"It should have been a story about Magnitsky"
If you are looking for a good read on the Magnitsky Case, go to wikipedia and by all means avoid this self-serving and self-glorifying account, that manages to recycle every Western stereotype of Russia. You can't get a more biased, more self-righteous narrator who is also completely oblivious to his own elitism and subjective viewpoint. Browder is on a mission: to smear the Russians and make them into international pariahs and at the same time, to revive his business after it could no longer harvest outstanding benefits from the Russian markets. The result is a venture capitalist that presents himself as a human rights activist, an effort both pathetic and disgusting. While the real hero of the story, the Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, has vanquished in jail, we are treated to endless descriptions of Browder's emotional "suffering," "guilt," and "anxieties" while he is enjoying his upper class life in London and hobnobbing with US politicians.
To add insult to injury, the actor chosen to read the text has an annoying tone and grossly mispronounces almost every Russian name (except Putin's :)
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